Casino Owners Donate To Texas Lt. Gov. Race

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on November 4, 2022
Casino owners donate money to Texas republicans

Incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has spent nearly triple the amount of campaign funds in his re-election campaign compared to his challenger, Mike Collier. Patrick is seeking his third-term as leader of the Texas Senate.

A staunch Republican, Patrick is firmly against the legalization of gambling in Texas

Texas campaign numbers

According to campaign finance reports from the Texas Ethics Commission, Patrick spent roughly $5.1 million compared to the $1.5 million spent by Collier over the last few days. Since Sept. 30, Patrick has raised nearly $3.3 million compared to Collier’s $712,581. And as of Saturday, Patrick reported $16.5 million in cash, more than 100 times Collier’s $128,000

Records show Patrick has spent upwards of $19 million on advertisements alone. Meanwhile, the Collier campaign has lost $2.1 million in advertising expenses. 

If re-elected, Patrick’s political clout could block further efforts to legalize any form of gaming, including Texas sports betting. However, influential casino executives are hoping that’s not the case. 

Casino owners donating to Texas republicans

Houston billionaire Tillman Fertitta, owner of Golden Nugget Casino and the Houston Rockets (NBA), donated $100,000 to Patrick’s campaign. Additionally, Patrick received $75,000 from the Texas Sands PAC.

The Sands PAC is managed by Las Vegas Sands Corp., whose majority shareholder Miriam Adelson gave $1 million in September to Gov. Greg Abbott’s re-election campaign

Speaking with KPRC 2 in Houston, Cara Gustafson, a spokesperson for the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, said conversations are ongoing. 

The alliance, comprised of professional sports franchises and gambling companies, said its goal is to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2023. 

“We’ve been having great ongoing conversations in both chambers on both sides of the aisle. Again, really educating them on what the illegal market is happening here in Texas.”

The Texas legislature only holds regular sessions in odd-numbered years. Thus, if efforts fail next year, legal Texas gambling will be on hold until 2025. 

Photo by PlayUSA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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